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Dec
13
2014

ACC Football has the best collection of non-conference wins since bowl season 2012.

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When the ACC was a struggling football conference through most of the 2000s, criticisms of the conference were very much justified. It’s a big effort to undo somewhere around a decade of bad football, but if you are still calling the ACC a terrible football conference, then you aren’t paying to the on the field results since 2012 bowl season.

Let’s look at the facts since that 4-2 2012 Bowl Season for the ACC. Winning against ranked teams within your own conference is nice, but it does little to prove the depth or quality of a league. The best measure of a league is non-conference results. In the last 23 months the ACC stands favorably against the rest of the country.

I’m not sure how else you would like to compare Power 5 conference except when they play each other. Nothing hurt the ACC’s football perception more than when they 2-13 in BCS games over a 14 year period.

Of most note to the ACC is that it is not just Florida State winning against top 10 teams out of conference. 4 other ACC programs have top 10 OOC wins.

Top 10 Non-Conference Wins since Bowl Season 2012 

#14 Clemson 25 #8 LSU 24

#21 Louisville 33 #3 Florida 23

#4 Oregon 35 #5 Kansas St. 17

#2 Alabama 42 #1 Notre Dame #1 14

 Top 10 Non-Conference Wins 2013 

#8 Clemson 38 #5 Georgia 35

#4 Michigan St. 24 #5 Stanford 20

#15 UCF 52 #4 Balyor 42

#11 Oklahoma 45 #3 Alabama 31

#12 Clemson 40 #7 Ohio State 35

#1 Florida State 34 #2 Auburn 31

#10 South Carolina 31 #6 Clemson 17

Top 10 Non-Conference Wins 2014

#16 Georgia Tech 30 #9 Georgia 24

Boston College 37 #9 USC 31

Virginia Tech 35 #5 Ohio State 21

Florida State #1 31 #5 Notre Dame 27

Oregon #3 46 Michigan #7 27

#11 Arizona St. 55 #8 Notre Dame 31

Top 10 Non-Conference Wins – Last 23 Months

ACC – 8

Pac 12 – 3

AAC/Big East – 2

SEC – 2

Big 12 – 1

Big 10 – 1

The ACC has won a whopping 47% of ALL top 10 non-conference wins since Bowl Season 2012. We aren’t even including Louisville’s win over Florida in 2012.

For the sake argument, I also looked up the records of each Power 5 conference against the top 10 OOC. It is fair to say the ACC had the most opportunities against the top 10 OOC  as @THEBDoherty point out to me on twitter.

Record against top 10 OOC since 2012 Bowl Season for the Power 5 conference. Only the Pac 12 had a better winning percentage against the top 10 OOC.

Record against the top 10 – Last 23 Months

Pac 12 

3-2

ACC 

8-7

SEC 

2-6

Big 10 

1-4

Big 12 

1-8

Let’s look at 2014. The Big Lead breaks it down further. The ACC had the 2nd best winning percentage against the top 50. We also include the each conference’s record against the rest of the Power 5. We list the conference by their winning percentage against the top 50.

Pac 12 – 56%

Top 50 Record: 5-4

Power 5: 8-3

ACC – 54%

Top 50 Record: 7-6

Power 5: 10-7

SEC – 50%

Top 50 Record: 5-5

Power 5: 5-6

Big 10 – 31%

Top 50 Record: 4-9

Power 5: 6-11

Big 12 – 22%

Top 50 Record: 2-7

Power 5: 4-6

Maybe rather than creating the Big 12 Championship game or adding teams, the Big 12 needs to perform better OOC. Their lack of quality non-conference wins most assuredly played a factor in that conference not getting a team in the playoff. We tried to tell you that all year. It was the Big 12’s dirty little secret.

So remove what you think you know about a conference’s football history. Is the SEC heads and shoulders above the rest of the country? Clearly the answer is No. Is the ACC a credible football conference. The recent on the field results would seem to say Yes.

23 months doesn’t change the dreadful prior near-decade of ACC football, but if you think it is the same ACC from then you haven’t been following what’s going on. A solid bowl season wouldn’t hurt either, as the ACC continues to gradually change its football perception.

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